The Illegal Wiretaps, Jesus, What You Have Done?
My first and only question for this album is whether or not the title is said in an offhand manner to someone at random or if it’s a direct question to the son of God.
In either case, The Illegal Wiretaps are back with a vengeance. Of these ten songs, the band explores through three different styles; okay, really, it’s more like two and a half.
Some of these songs are simply electronic without vocals, but they have enough complexity to them to stand out on their own as something other than background filler noise. At times, it can feel like the instrumental songs are singing more than the few songs on here that actually have vocals.
There also exists a type of song (done a couple of times) where it’s that electronic instrumental sound, but there’s a female voice talking over it, such as a sound clip maybe. The one very important thing that you must remember about the instrumental songs is simply that they are not just to be thought of as bridges between the songs with vocals. They’re a very real part of this album and perhaps even more important than the songs with vocals, since they seem to outnumber them.
Now, some of these songs do have actual words being sung in a way that makes them sound like an actual band, but it’s still different from what I’m used to from The Illegal Wiretaps. The vocals still remind me of Joy Division. but the accompanying music no longer does. In fact, on a song such as “Next Time,” the music that goes with the words sounds a lot like the musical equivalent of a tree being sawed down. (Which, surprisingly, sounds a lot better than you’d probably imagine.)
I will admit to being a fan of The illegal Wiretaps. I own the majority of their back catalog, and even though it can vary from song to song, I still find it all to be exceptionally well done. If you’ve never heard them before, this is the best place for you to start, as it gives you a good overall idea of their sound. You need to own “Jesus, What You Have Done?” — and then, after that, everything else they have ever recorded.